Dearest LeiOut Party People,
It’s with a sad heart that we are announcing the cancellation of LeiOut 2022. Our team has invested countless hours, unparalleled effort, and next level creativity into this year’s event; but safety has always been our utmost priority, and it’s with everyone’s safety in mind that we’ve made this tough decision.
Our Health Advisory Committee – an MSPH global disease epidemiologist, an MPH professional, a physical therapist in a local hospital, and a professional equity facilitator – has provided us with expert and timely guidance throughout the last several months. Together we explored numerous ways to mitigate risk of transmission on the beach, especially as the Omicron variant became an ever growing threat. The fact remains that over 3,000 participants would either be traveling via plane or staying in shared accommodation amidst the largest surge in COVID cases we’ve seen to date. And all of this with a variant that we still don’t fully understand but know is prone to evade the protection of vaccines.
Beyond our concern for all of you and your loved ones, we are also concerned that a potential superspreader event will almost certainly affect vulnerable communities the most; communities that rely on hourly work, may have less access to testing and quality health care, or have chronic illness that make them more vulnerable to infection. As cases continue to stack up and breakthrough infections appear more frequently, our health experts also fear a severe strain on hospitals across the nation especially as fully vaccinated healthcare workers also contract the virus. We’ve spent time analyzing every possible alternative – from cancelling the party to moving the event to another weekend – but with the continued unpredictability of the virus, the definite risk in holding such a large event, and the compounding financial complications and losses, we see no other possible option at this time. After consultation with our full team, key partners, and multiple community organizers locally and beyond, we can’t ethically move forward with our favorite event of the year.
We know this means a tough stretch for people as you request airline credit and accommodation refunds, and we’re truly sorry we all have to go through this. In the next two weeks we’ll be in touch with all registrants after we sort out all expenses incurred to date and have put together various refund options. Please be patient as we work through this, it’s new for all of us.
In the next few days we’ll also let you know how you can purchase all of the sweet LeiOut 2022 merchandise from our steadfast partner, Spin. Everyone is affected by this cancellation so please consider picking something up for yourself or a friend.
This is obviously not the result I expected when I took on the role of Tournament Director of LeiOut for the first time this year. But one thing is clear, our team has learned so much from planning the 2022 event and we can’t wait to put on the return of our beloved LeiOut in 2023. Barring another unforeseeable act of nature, expect more music than ever before, more wacky games, more varied entertainment, and a selection of delicious and local beverages in 2023. Until then, please get vaccinated, get boosted, and make smart decisions while having fun. Sincerely,
Grant Boyd & the entire LeiOut 2022 Team